Pet owners are often advised not to share their meals with their pets. Many pet parents are left confused as to what to prepare and what not to. Many ingredients that humans use for their cooking can work for pets too. But there is a thin line between the food we prepare for ourselves and pets as our food often contains elements that aren’t friendly to our dogs, or are too rich or fatty for their systems. Using healthy ingredients to prepare food meant for only their systems is important. The general opinion is that dogs will eat what we eat. But the truth is that dogs and humans are different, and each dog is unique, with their own set of allergies and bodily requirements. A human delicacy could be poison for our four-legged furry members. Human food is also insufficient in terms of a dog’s nutritional needs.
According to the AAFCO nutrient profile, dogs need these 6 vital nutrients that are paramount for a dog
- Carbohydrates & Fibers
So how does the typical desi meal fare against these requirements?
Let’s start with roti dipped in milk, the staple desi dog meal. Both roti and milk come up insufficient in terms of the required nutrients. “Both gluten in wheat and lactose in milk may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. You may have seen several pets that eat a meal of roti and milk face such issues. But we cannot disregard the fact that gluten and lactose are not healthy for them and lead to allergies,” opines Dr Shilpy Minz, Head of Product, Food and Treats, Wiggles.
Rice mixed with chicken is one of the most preferred desi meals for pet parents. It is closest to meeting the nutritional requirements of your pet and is packed with protein and fat. But it lacks carbohydrates, vitamins, and certain minerals vital for optimum body function. Dal is undeniably a healthy food for humans. But for canines, it can barely suffice.
Spices should be kept away from pets because it is harmful to them. It includes the ever-present onions, chilies, saffron, and garlic. That rules out most of the Indian vegetable curries.
Pet parents love their furry babies and are always ensure that their food needs are met. “But the problem is not the quantity, but the lack of a complete and a balanced meal. Complete in regard to the essential nutrients and balanced in the quantity of the required nutrients,” adds Dr Minz.
A canine needs 10 essential amino acids from protein sources like chicken oil, bone meat, and organs for building muscles and coats. Cook it with fat-containing ingredients like fish oils and flaxseed to provide dogs with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are essential for their immunity system. Keep your pet active with carbohydrate rich foods like rice, pumpkin, and potatoes.
A dash of Yucca extract, cumin seeds, papaya, and fish oil supply vitamins and minerals that aid in cellular growth.
The right nutrition is key for the holistic care of a dog because as pet parents, we should take care of their physical, emotional, and social needs. The right dog food will make your pet healthy, happy, and active.